OECD Says Global Growth To Pick Up Modestly Amid Vulnerabilities, Risks


The OECD and other influential economics bodies have steadily upgraded forecasts of United Kingdom growth as the economy has proved resilient since the country's vote to leave the EU. "These are expected to catalyze private economic activity and push up global demand", the organization said.

The OECD warned growth would be hit by "uncertainty" about Britain's future trading relationship with the European Union and rising inflation, which last week was pushed to a two-and-a-half-year high of 1.8% by the collapse in the pound following last year's referendum.

In Tuesday's economic outlook, the OECD questions whether advanced economies have put too much stock in keeping interest rates low for an extended period of time. The social cost of the crisis and the increased inequalities need to be addressed, to make growth more inclusive and to reduce pressures for protectionism and other populist responses.

However, it warned that the "projected modest upturn" could be derailed by a number of factors, including the possibility of a downturn in markets, greater barriers to trade set up by governments, and uncertainties about the path of interest rates around the world.

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Among the specific country outlooks highlighted by the OECD were the USA, where domestic demand is set to strengthen, supported by gains in household wealth and an upturn in oil production. "Under these circumstances, it is time for a new trade policy that defends American sovereignty, enforces USA trade laws, uses American leverage to open markets overseas, and negotiates new trade agreements that are fairer and more effective both for the US and for the world trading system, particularly those countries committed to a market-based economy". US GDP growth is expected to rise to 2.4% this year and 2.8% in 2018.

China's growth forecast for this year was raised to 6.5 percent and for next year to 6.3 percent. Prospects will depend on the extent to which labour-market duality is reduced and wage growth picks up. The outlook for the fiscal year 2018 was retained at 7.7 percent. However, the OECD cautioned that consumption, investment, trade and productivity were all far from strong and that growth rates remained sluggish by past standards, sitting below a historical 4% average.

As to Brazil and Russian Federation, both suffering a deep recession, would register growth recovery thanks to higher commodity prices and easing inflation, according to the OECD report. Japan's GDP growth will accelerate this year to 1.2% from 1% in 2016.

The organization said fiscal policy should be used to boost demand, especially if coupled with structural reform.